An historic agreement to settle past ceded land claims was signed into law today by Gov. Neil Abercrombie.
Senate Bill 2783, a proposal introduced by the governor’s administration, was advanced unanimously and without any changes made by the Legislature.
Abercrombie signed the bill at a ceremony at Washington Place surrounded by members of the native Hawaiian community.
The agreement was reached in November by Abercrombie and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
The settlement does not involve any money, but instead conveys about 25 acres of contiguous and adjacent parcels of land in Kakaako valued at about $200 million to OHA. The state and OHA agree that a $200 million approximate settlement amount represents a reasonable compromise of the disputed claims.
Under the new act, which takes effect July 1, all disputes and claims relating to OHA’s portion of income and proceeds from the public trust lands from Nov. 7, 1978 through June 30, 2012, will be considered settled. The agreement does not preclude future claims or claims brought prior to 1978.
"Senate Bill 2783 empowered Hawaiians to get their voices heard and the signing of the measure into law is a small step for Hawaiian rights," Sen. J. Kalani English said in a statement prior to this morning’s bill signing.